In 2014, Dayton offered to welcome and house unaccompanied minors who were crossing the southern border into the US. In 2015, Dayton openly offered to welcome Syrian refugees. This past year we’ve welcomed 136 Afghans who have settled in Dayton. Between 2011 and 2019, 1,512 refugees settled in Dayton. The global movement of people played a role in the Welcome Dayton Plan, a City of Dayton initiative, but it was the choices of the ethically engaged community members that shaped the City’s policy towards welcoming and inclusion instead of exclusion.
Rather than despairing over the monolith of exclusionary practices against the global migration of people, a decade ago citizens and city officials declared Dayton a “welcoming” community. Welcoming America certified Dayton as “welcoming” – and thus Dayton became the first city in the country to be so certified. In response to a recent survey, seventy percent of Dayton’s residents said they would be supportive if an immigrant family moved in next door to them.